Restaurants and Businesses 

Going Green to Protect the Blue


To strengthen connections between the business community and the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary, the CMRC designed a comprehensive pilot program for green business stewardship.  Designed for the New York City metropolitan region, this program is a cost-savings means through which businesses can adhere to environmentally-friendly business practices and receive regional recognition for such efforts.

How it Works:

Eligible 2010 Business Stewards of the Estuary candidates must be a restaurant, luncheonette, bakery, delicatessen, mobile food vendor or other business having the purpose of serving (whether distributed, take-out, drive-thru or table/counter service) food which is prepared on the premises.

Using the CMRC’s workbook, businesses chose from over 100 recommended practices to serve sustainable seafood, save energy, conserve water, reduce waste, and other measures to reduce overall environmental impact.  To become certified, businesses must commit to a minimum number of basic practices.

Certified Business Stewards of the Estuary will be recognized through an annual press release, CMRC’s web site, related marketing materials, and special events.

All certified Business Stewards of the Estuary will be highly recognized.  In addition to promotions through events, they will receive a window decal and a digital copy of the program logo. A Business Stewards of the Estuary network will be developed to further showcase accomplishments.

Contact the CMRC for materials and more information.

Rationale Behind the Business Stewards of the Estuary Program:


On February 16, 2006 the Coastal Marine Resource Center (CMRC) and its partners convened a Harbor Estuary Business Stewardship Workshop to identify focus areas and next steps for developing a Business Stewardship Program for the New York – New Jersey Harbor Estuary.

The event was attended by thirty business and environmental leaders in the region and included a series of panel discussions to generate ideas and recommendations for developing a Businesses for the Harbor program, now renamed as the Business Stewards of the Estuary program.

Based on the findings of the workshop, the CMRC and its partners formed a Business Stewardship Workgroup, sought out information and resources from stewardship programs both within and outside the Harbor, and facilitated dialogue with business and conservation organizations.   The culmination of this project is the development of the Business Stewards of the Estuary program, including this workbook for restaurants and the self-certification program described below.

As in all efforts to lessen our collective impact, whether it be constructing large scale engineering solutions or encouraging individuals to use compact fluorescent light bulbs, decisions must be made about what should be done, by whom, and by when. 

In finalizing the structure of this program, the CMRC took stock of all conversations, dialogues, and workshop comments since the inception of the program.  The CMRC concluded it was most effective to provide meaningful and useful information to a specific business sector in order to take advantage of the limited resources available. 

We understood it was important that the initial structure of this program be replicable, expandable, as user-friendly as possible, and provide low-cost as well as high-end methods of environmental improvement.

Thus this first iteration of the Business Stewards of the Estuary program specifically focuses on restaurants and the steps restaurants can take now, from the small to the very intensive, to minimize their environmental impact.

Eligible restaurants may participate in the Business Stewards of the Estuary Program informally and formally. 

Informally, we encourage the use of the Business Stewards of the Estuary workbook as a reference document showing what can be done by restaurants, as well as other businesses to improve their environmental impact.

Formally, restaurants may use this workbook to become certified Business Stewards of the Estuary by incorporating business practices provided in the workbook in their operations and maintenance practices.